Author & Illustrator of Ce’Marie – Volunteer of the Month!

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Yep! That’s me! A Place Called Home (APCH) announced that I am their May ‘Volunteer of the Month’ (it’s a month behind).

I have been volunteering at APCH for less than four months. So it feels good to receive such recognition in such a short amount of time. It’s gratifying yet humbling to know I have made a big enough impression on the organization that the coordinators at APCH decided to honor me with the title.

Someone once told me to “engross yourself so much into what you choose to do that [in that moment, the world around you becomes nonexistent]…” Whether it’s writing and illustrating Ce’Marie, volunteering, working corporate or even blogging, I try to live by that.

Big thanks to APCH for being flexible with me and working with my schedule.

5 Good Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Library

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When I was around 3 or 4 years old, I remember my mother took me to the local public library. I was an avid reader by that age, whether I read the words correctly or not, I was a true storyteller – sharing an elaborate story based off its illustrations alone.

So going to a place that housed so many books, on top of books, on top of books… I was right in literary heaven! From colorful picture books to interesting topic-specific fact books, I wanted them all to come home with me. And with my new library card in tow, the library became a weekly venture for my mother and I.

Why should you make sure your kids take occasional trips to the library? Christine French Cully, Editor in Chief of Highlight Children, provides these 5 Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Library:

1. Regular library visits inevitably leads to more reading.

  • Remember, within the first 5 years of a child’s life, their brain and knowledge is working at a faster rate than it’ll ever work. So go, feed that baby’s brain. They’ll thank you in a big way later, after graduating from an Ivy League university ;)

2. When you visit the library, you can expose your kids to more books and magazines than you can afford to buy.

  • Take home as many cool books as you can carry out to the car. Then after that load is read, return it and get a whole new pile of books. Explore the many aisles of the children’s section and allow your kid to pick up his/her favorites. It doesn’t get much better than that.

3. Your local children’s librarian can recommend books that you may not know of or think to suggest, broadening their tastes and expanding their minds and vocabulary

  • Constant learning and exploring their imagination is the point, right? :) And you’ll be surprised – by what books you may see as random – your child fall in love with and want read to him/her every night

4. Library time is active, not passive

  • Libraries often host events where they bring in animated storytellers, different engaging shows and even the authors themselves come in and interact with the kids. Connecting with their favorite books and its authors along with the other little library goers, really gives the children an invaluable experience.

5. Owning a library card teaches kids responsibility.

  • Owning their own library card make kids feel responsible and important. They learn to keep up with it and value their belongings.

To read the entire, original article, click here.

How about you – what are your library stories? Do these 5 reasons sound about right to you? Or based off the 5 reasons will you now take your kids more often? Let us know below! :) #SomethingAboutCeMarie? She loves books!

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Work Cited

Original article is courtesy of Huffington Post.

View the original article here.

Notes to all the Special Mothers out there on Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day… Ce’Marie and I would like to wish all of the fabulous mothers out there a wonderful, happy day and year!

Here’s a special note from Ce’Marie to her mother:

“To my pretty, caring and hardworking mommy, I love you! :) :) You are shapping shaping my life to grow up and become a fun fierce, brave Queen, like you. You are our #1 fan – always going above and beyond to help us pursue our dreams. Thank you for believing in me and all of my bright ideas. I’ve been told my imagination is stupid and dreaming is for losers – and I believed it for 1 second until you told me it’s actually pretty unique and a good sense of wild. You taught me to not worry about what mean people say and to just enjoy being free in my imagination. I thank you mama for never belittling my dreams and instead telling me to shoot even higher than the stars… Momma, I hope you like my our card I we got for you – I really really hope so because I spent all of my allowance on it. ~ ♥︎ ~ P.S. it was alot of my idea to get you the bamboo plant, thought it would brighten up your desk while at work. I hear you sometimes talk to daddy about the stress of work, so this should help alot tremendously. I got Rewo [Ce’Marie’s older brother] to pay for it – I told him he owed it to us mommy ;) Ms. T [Ce’Marie’s school teacher] always says, ‘Keep up the hard-work, because someone is taking notice and another is always watching while the other is taking notes.’ I never really understood what that meant, until now (well more like 42 minutes ago when I asked Rewo). Well, I’ve taken notice of your hard-work and now I’m watching you while I take my notes :) xoxo, Ce’Marie Your Kids”

~ ♥︎ ~

And a note from the author of Ce’Marie books to all the responsible, great mothers out there who are making a positive difference in the lives of their kids and others:

I thank you.

I thank you for all of your hard work and dedication in raising strong, confident, smart, and loving children. We need more people, and especially more mothers, like you in this world! It is no easy task to not only birth a child but to also raise a child. Raising children takes strength, determination, money, PATIENCE and a good heart. So to all the mothers out there who are taking care of business and making it happen, I applaud and humbly thank you. And those of you superwomen who have to do it alone, I take my hat off to you. Today was designed in honor of the mothers and your persistence in making sure when it came to your family, sh* got done correctly, each and every time!

So… a toast to you, a beautiful future and a blessed year of happiness. Cheers! *clink *clink *clink

backgrounds-cute-happy-mothers-day-card-screenshot-hd-wallpaper-for-desktop~ ♥︎ ~

And lastly, the most difficult note to compose – a note to all the Nigerian mothers who are awaiting the return of their innocent daughters:

We are all praying for you. We want our girls back. We want our daughters back, and we want this NOW!  So #BringBackOurGirls!

I pray that they are safe and unharmed. I pray that God helps them get through whatever it is they are battling. And when they do return (I am talking this into existence), I pray they suffer no more. We love you all and wish you comfort in God’s word. You AND your daughters will overcome this.

Your daughters will remain in our prayers until they are declared well and in your loving arms.

Written with so much love, empathy and concern,

xoxo

R.

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Thank you for the beautiful pictures! (Picture Credits)

I love… Love…LOVE this photo!

I genuinely enjoy seeing women in powerful positions.

Whether it is the Director of a firm, the CEO of her own business, or the Senior Designer at a large denim company – women are making their presence be felt.

In regards to this photo, take a moment to feel their power, take in their strength and love their fierceness! From the umpire shouting and exercising her authority, to the victorious catcher, and right down to the woman who is gracefully extending her body in an effort to reach home base and put a point on the scoreboard… These women are inspiring. These women are bold. These women are fearless!

Valentine Cards Bring Smiles to Kids at CHLA

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Ce’Marie Tribe! Wonderful news – I am excited to share that the efforts of the Children Hospitals of Los Angeles to give each child patient a bag full of valentines day cards and goodies was a success! The children were not able to attend school on valentine’s day, thus they were not expecting any cards or candy on that day.

Nice people from all around the world helped make it happen – cards were filled out then delivered on valentines day to the children – ours included! It warmed our heart to see the event had such a great turnout and positive impact on the kids. Give yourselves a pat on the back – we brought a smile to some child’s face ♥ 2.14.14

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=9433101 << click on link to check out abc news’ coverage of the event

28 Days of Royalty: Madame C.J. Walker

Determined ♥ Innovative ♥ Inspiring.

Do you have a bright idea that you think can help many people and in the process pay your bills and possibly even send your children to college? Did you give up or slow down on that idea because it was just too difficult, strenuous and/or too time-consuming to achieve? This is perfect for you! Read on and learn about a courageous African-American woman who bravely built her company from the ground up even when all odds were stacked against her and her only daughter.

Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a Louisiana plantation that her parents sharecropped, Madame C.J. Walker would go on to become America’s first self-made female millionaire. Walker became an entrepreneur after suffering from a scalp disorder that resulted in severe hair loss. During the 1890’s, when her hair began to fall out, Walker sought remedies that she hoped would cure her scalp condition. In 1905, Walker began working as a sales agent for Annie Malone, another black female hair product entrepreneur. The sales position relocated Walker to Denver; this move became the catalyst for Walker’s success. There in Denver, she found her third (but short-term) husband Charles Joseph Walker, changed her name to “Madame” C.J. Walker, founded her own hair product business, and began a door-to-door sales hustle of her products. She strategically traveled the deep south to promote and teach interested potential customers how to get the most out of her products. As business picked up, Walker moved to Pittsburgh in 1908 to temporarily run her business and open a beauty college-like establishment to train her sales teams. The actions Walker took in her business were innovative, creative, and avante-garde. In 1910 she had moved her business to the then-largest inland manufacturing area, Indianapolis. There she built a factory, a one-stop shop (hair and nail beauty salon), and another beauty college. Throughout the growth of her “all-things hair and beauty” empire, Walker supported the efforts of black higher education and the civil rights movement. She donated generously to what we know today as Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU’s) and to organizations like the NAACP.

~ ♥ ~

Madame C.J. Walker December 23, 1867 - May 25, 1919

Madame C.J. Walker
December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919

“I got my start by giving myself a start.”

“One night I had a dream, and in that dream a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. I made up my mind that I would begin to sell it.”

“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the south. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations. I have built my own factory on my own ground.”

– Madame C.J. Walker

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Embarking upon the entrepreneurship path is not an easy one but it is a well-worth-it one. Each individual is born with and acquire through schooling and training special skills and talents. If there is a special something you do well and enjoy doing, take the leap! Be bold and put the fears to the side. Become the entrepreneur you are absolutely capable of becoming. Requirements: Hard-work. Dedication. Time. Persistence. Patience and Positivity. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Do your homework and research whatever it is to learn more and to stay in the know.

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Work Cited

  • madamecjwalker.com
  • video: WSHH youtube

28 Days of Royalty: Thurgood Marshall

What comes to mind when we think of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall?

Intelligent. Powerful. Activist. Strong. Fighter. Winner.

Born July 2nd, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland, Thurgood Marshall was the great-grandson of slaves. He was a smart young man growing up with goals to go to college then become a dentist. During high school he would get into trouble in the classroom and as his teacher’s disciplinary action, Marshall was instructed to memorize parts of the U.S. Constitution. To give you an idea of just how many times he found himself in a little trouble, by the time he had graduated from high school, Marshall had memorized the entire U.S. Constitution. September of 1926, he went on to attend college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Lincoln University.

Marshall had always held 2-3 part-time positions to make ends meet. He was a very skilled speaker; capable of persuading any crowd with his oratory skills. Embracing this skill, Marshall decided to change his course of study to law in his second year of college.

After being rejected from his first choice university — Maryland Law School — because of his race, Marshall went on to attend one of the most well-known historically black colleges today, Howard University. During his time at Howard, Marshall became an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1933, not only did Marshall graduate first in his class, he also passed the bar exam later that year.

He began fighting significant civil rights cases and made equality a reality for blacks. “Overall between 1940 and 1961, Marshall won 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court,” (about.com).

In December of 1952, Marshall argued the infamous Brown v Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case was like no other. No longer were the NAACP and Marshall fighting for the segregated equal in “separate but equal” (Plessy v Ferguson 1896), but they were fighting for equal. Period.

May 17, 1954 the court ruled unanimously in Marshall’s favor. October 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall became Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Marshall served from the age of 59 to 82.

Thurgood Marshall  July 2, 1908 - January 24, 1993

Thurgood Marshall
July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993

“Today’s Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness [to all].”

“Customary greeting to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, ‘What’s shaking, chiefy baby?'”

– Thurgood Marshall

~ ♥ ~

The law is a fascinating subject. Knowledge of your country’s Constitution gives you power – just as it did for Marshall. Also, having the confidence and ambition to pursue your goal(s), whether if you started out with that goal or if it came into fruition years later after starting something totally different, takes strength and hard-work that we all possess. Like Nike says, Just Do It.

We want to know what path you chose – was it easy? Did you start out with this same path? Has it remained the same since you chose it? Comment below and let us know :)

xoxo

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Work Cited

28 Days of Royalty: Ida B. Wells

There really are some incredible women in our past, our present and to-be in our future. One of which is a brave African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist and civil rights leader named Ida B. Wells.

She was a force to be reckoned with.

Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862 in Holy Springs, Mississippi. In the late 1880’s, Wells worked as a teacher at a segregated-all-black elementary school to provide for her siblings after the death of her parents and a younger sibling during the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. She resented the fact that she was paid $25/month while white teachers were paid more than triple the amount, ~$80/month. Fueled by her resentment and the “reign of terror” violence that came down on African-Americans, Wells used her talents in writing and social skills to spread awareness about the plight of the negro people. She wrote extensively on the lynchings that were still taking place in America post-Civil War’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. A lot of Wells writing assessed the motives behind the violence black people were experiencing. Like the lynchings, she believed it was done to tame and stifle the growth and ambitions of blacks who competed with whites. In addition to Wells’ active involvement in the civil rights movement, she was also an activist of the women’s suffrage movement that fought for the rights of women.

“For more than 40 years, Ida B. Wells was one of the most fearless and respected women in the United States. [She] was one of the most articulate women of her time,” (idabwells.org).

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Ida B. Wells
July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931

“Somebody must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.”

“The Afro-American is not a bestial race.”

– Ida B. Wells

~ ♥ ~

Interesting Fact: Wells was one of the first people to fight for blacks’ right to sit wherever they please on public transportation. After being physically forced by the conductor to vacate a Memphis, Tennessee train in 1884, Wells filed a lawsuit against the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for wrongfully vetoing her decision to sit in the ladies coach section of the train. After articulating her experience in an article, she seemed to have found her calling in writing.

Ida B. Wells is a great person to study for many reasons, especially if you are interested in journalism. Writing this post was both fun and educational – which by the way is #WhatCe’MarieIsAllAbout ;) – it was difficult to stop adding information. We try to keep the posts short and scrumptious – we know how it is to have the attention span of a fly haha jk

Do you have a daughter or know a young girl or boy who is interested in a career in journalism or even just loves to write? Maybe you have someone in mind who could learn something new today (we all do!) why not let that “newness” be about Ms. Ida B. Wells? :) Share or forward this post with a friend and with the friend of a friend. Let’s spread the love ♥

28 Days of Royalty: Dr. Martin Luther King

Brave. Strong. Alpha man. A man who dreamed of an equal society. A society in which people are not prematurely “judged by the color of their skin [or the kinkiness of their hair or the color of their eyes or the fullness of their lips] but on the content of their character.” A society where children are not afraid to quench their thirst at the nearest water fountain and NOT necessarily at the mandated Black fountain. And in doing so, he dreamed that we wouldn’t “satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” He had a dream that “[right here in America] little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – for “1963 [was] not an end but a beginning.”

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
January 15, 1929 – April 04, 1968

~ ♥ ~

As the creator of Ce’Marie, I also have a dream.

I have a dream that our little black girls will grow up loving their black dolls just as much as their white dolls. Most importantly, that little black girls will not see being black as an ugly dead-end but as being someone who also has the creativity, strength, potential and overall capacity to succeed, just as their non-black friends.

~ ♥ ~

I have a dream that little black girls and other girls of color will see more and more girls and women who look like them in the media (books, magazines, tv shows, movies, etc.) doing great, positive things.

~ ♥ ~

I have a dream that schools, parents, and all of society will continue to teach our children about diversity and tolerance. And that we will continue to progress in our acceptance of others and their differences.

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I have a dream that little girls and their parents will not shy away from supporting diverse companies, like Ce’Marie and rkc. And that the number of diverse companies will continue to grow and show that they embrace diversity through their actions and products.

~ ♥ ~

I have a dream that little girls – brown, purple, yellow, white and black – will grow up in nurturing environments in which they are taught to love themselves and share love and kindness with others. I have a dream… I have a dream that little girls will always feel like they have an adult to talk to, help them, and not judge them for their mistakes or unfortunate circumstance(s). Girls everywhere will learn the importance of staying true to themselves and realize how much cooler it is to do so.

        

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

~ ♥ ~

i-have-a-draemDo you have a dream? Of course you do! Comment below and let us know your dream(s) and if you’re feeling really good, include what it is that you are doing now to accomplish that dream ;)

Until next time…

xoxo,

ZeeZee Dandridge

Creator of Ce’Marie

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Photo Credits (searched through Google)

  • Photo 1: davidbrim.com
  • Photo 2: amlit-kaplan.wikispaces.com
  • Photo 3: laschoolreport.com
  • Photo 4: deeperstory.com
  • Photo 5: pinterest.com
  • Photo 6: dodgeburn.blogspot.com
  • Photo 7: bevelle.wordpress.com

28 Days of Royalty: Oprah Winfrey

28 Days of Royalty: Highlighting Black/African-American Trailblazers

Today, I share with you a little something about a woman who I have looked up to for years upon years and day-dreamed about sitting next to on her infamous couch. This beautiful woman puts the “O” in ‘awesOme’ (and ‘Outstanding’); in working towards becoming who she is today, she was Persistent, Resourceful, And Hard-working.

She is: Ms. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah

Oprah is a media guru, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is looked up to by many, young and old. She is courageous, influential, and pioneering. Like many successful people, Oprah started off small and went through her unique trials and tribulations. But as we can see – she finished off stronger than ever. Oprah works her a** off and her efforts continue to pay off – with her being a billionaire at the top of her game… (cues song: Started From The Bottom, Now We’re Here by Drake).

I leave you with this:

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”

– Oprah Winfrey

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.”

– Oprah Winfrey

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We would love to hear from You! Who else in the media do you think is a great, positive influence and trailblazer? Please leave us a comment below :) xoxo